Pakistan Efforts Towards Carbon Neutrality

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Pakistan is expected to cause extensive effects on people and environment in Pakistan, as a result of constant climate change.

Pakistan’s climate has become gradually unstable over the past several decades. This trend is expected to continue into the future.

In addition to increased heat, drought and extreme weather conditions in some parts of the country the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas threatens many of the most important rivers of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s arid climate and rocky deserts may seem an unlikely place to look for a green revolution, but in its race to carbon neutrality, in 2014 for the first time when PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-E-Insaf) came into power on provincial level in KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) the “Billion Trees Afforestation Project” (BTAP) was announced and in August 2017 the project was completed successfully.

Pakistan Billion Tree restores 350,000 hectares of forest and degraded land.

Following 2018 general election PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-E-Insaf) party emerged as the largest and most popular political party and formed the federal and provincial governments.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in September 2018 launched one of the world’s largest reforestation programs; dubbed the “Ten Billion Tree Tsunami” the campaign is also known as Plant for Pakistan.

While speaking with Eat News Gulzar Rahman, Conservator, KP Forest Department said, “The basic objective of this project was to improve the environmental condition and the socio-economic condition of the province and the country. In this project our target was to plant 1 billion trees in that particular period, we have planted more than 1 billion tress with the active environment of the department and the well-wishes of the government of KPK . Our approach was to comprise upon 3 dimensions one was a departmental plantation on which we have raised almost 300 million plants and then another approach was the establishment of enclosures where we have established enclosure at the various designated forests where there were issues of regeneration, and we implied simply an enigma, and controlled the issues of free grazing, so we got natural regeneration in those designated forests in this way we have raised 730 million plants through the establishment of enclosure Initially.”

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The major challenges were the acceptability problem that community as a whole was not in a position to accept this big challenge as it was the 4th biggest initiative of the world that the KPK government has completed successfully so at initial stage we got problems like community dispute, raising of plants finally where there is a will there is a way everyone in this team starting from forest guard up to the level of secretary have worked day and night for making this project a big success.

Pakistan is on the 7th number among the most vulnerable countries which are facing the issue of climate change, so it was our need to go towards such a big initiative and to timely initiate such a project which was highly appreciated by the whole world and specially JEFF and ICN ,WWA ,UN ,ARCO we have achieved the target of establishment of enclosure which is almost 60%, so enclosure is almost the indigenous species while the departmental plantation tend to 15% species that are exerted rest are indigenous species.

Expert says that the project have separate directors who are creating the awareness among the local community about the usefulness of forests the conservation the protection.

Most of the areas are thickly populated and have forest area as well, we have organized those communities for the giant forest management community village development organization, and they have established their own check post with the help of local community

While talking to Eat News Malik Amin Aslam Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change said, “Now the ten billion-tree tsunami projects can be seen successfully countrywide, and the determent of that success is that we gathered all provinces even the opposition ones for Pakistan, as it was not a political issue.

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We have seven different plans including growing alpine forest of KPK to the scrub forest of Punjab, dry forestation of Baluchistan and turn down to the mangroves and River forestation in Sindh province all the forest are covered, and we are increasing these forest all over Pakistan.”

Federal Government is contributing fifty percent of financing and the provinces with a mutual understanding finance the remaining fifty percent, federal government monitors the whole activity whereas the implementation happens at the provincial level.

We hope to achieve the first billion of the ten billion by June 2021,as China has announced 2060 the year of carbon neutrality so Pakistan is also trying to aim for carbon neutrality as the other countries are also doing so.

At the moment our carbon emissions are 500 million tons, Pakistan is not a big emitter its 135th in terms of the per capita emission in the world and less than 1% of the global carbon emission so we are not around the main emitters but at the same time because of this nature based solutions that we are doing of forestation in the billion and 10 billion tree we estimated that if both these projects go as per planned we should be able to offset our emissions today which is 500 billion ton just by these two big projects till 2050 so by 2050 if we complete these two projects then our emissions today will be totally offset.

Pakistan is a country where we are relying on nature based solutions to meet our targets and we are investing in nature to you ‘know rebalance the equation with nature which we have spoiled.

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This is how Pakistan is restoring eco system, absorbing carbon emissions and providing 0.5 million jobs, which is the success story behind this project.

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Muhammad Farhan Niazi is a correspondent for Eat News in Pakistan and is an experienced senior producer with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in feature and news writing, non-linear editing, radio, multimedia journalism, Online journalism, film production, and sound. Strong media and communication professional graduated from University of Peshawar.

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Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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